Mandarin or Mandarin tree (Citrus reticulata) is an evergreen tree of the Rutov family, from 2 to 4 meters high. The homeland of the mandarin is China, from where the name of the plant comes from. In ancient China, tangerines were called rich officials who could afford to have this beautiful tree.
Currently, tangerines are grown as a fruit crop. The largest producers of tangerines are China, Spain, Brazil and Japan. In the Caucasus, tangerines of the Japanese group are grown.
Mandarins can be successfully grown in a greenhouse, at home, and even in an apartment. For these purposes, tangerine trees of undersized varieties are purchased. The height of such plants is about 1 m, and the flowers of the tangerine tree, blooming in spring, exude a very pleasant aroma.
Indoor mandarin - popular varieties:
Winshiu mandarin is a seedless variety in the open air reaches a height of 2-3 m, in room conditions - 0.8-1.5 m. The variety is frost-resistant, early maturing. Abundant flowering, small white flowers. Fruiting at the age of 3-4 years.
Mandarin Kovano-Vase is an early ripe, undersized variety. In indoor conditions it reaches 40-80 cm, it is convenient for growing on a windowsill. Fruiting at the age of 2 years. Abundant flowering begins in spring and continues throughout the year. The fruits can remain on the tree for several months.
Lighting. Mandarin is a light-loving plant. Will feel good near the southern, southeastern and eastern windows. In the summer, take it out to the balcony, but shade the tree from direct sunlight in hot weather.
Temperature. In the spring, when buds appear on your tangerine, it is advisable to maintain a temperature of 16-18 ° C. In summer, it is better not to overheat the plant (above 25 ° C), otherwise the flowers may fade and crumble. If possible, place the tangerine in a room with a temperature of 10-14 ° C in winter. He needs a rest period for high-quality fruiting.
Air humidity. High humidity is important for mandarin. Spray it often and take a warm shower from time to time. Make sure that no water gets on the flowers. If possible, place a pot with a tree in a wide tray with wet expanded clay as follows: place an inverted bowl (lid, tray) in the center of a wider tray, put a pot on this bowl and sprinkle with expanded clay around the edges. Moisten the expanded clay regularly as it dries.
Watering. From the beginning of spring, provide the tangerine with abundant watering with complete wetting of the earthy ball. Water with warm, settled water. From lack of moisture, the leaves can curl and fall off. Just do not overdo it, because of excess water, the soil can sour and the roots can rot. Reduce watering in the fall to prepare the plant for wintering. If wintering is not possible, water as the topsoil dries.
Top dressing. In early summer, start feeding the plant. Organic fertilizers are preferable - diluted in water (1:10) and infused cow dung. During the period when the plant is growing rapidly, feed citrus fertilizers once every 2 weeks.
Transfer. The best time is in the spring, before the plant begins to grow vigorously. Transplant using the transshipment method, i.e. with an earthen lump. At the bottom of the pot, be sure to place drainage from small pieces of red brick or expanded clay.
Transplant young tangerine trees annually. The soil is sod, leafy soil, humus and sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 1. For older adults (over 3 years old), transplant 1 time in 3-4 years. The soil is sod, leafy soil, humus and sand in a ratio of 3: 1: 1: 1. If it is not possible to prepare the soil yourself - use a store for citrus fruits.
Trimming and shaping. Tangerines do not really need pruning, the crown turns out to be beautiful in itself. Remove dead and strongly stretched branches.
Flowering and fruiting: Indoor tangerines bloom very beautifully, in some varieties (Kovano-Vasya) flowers can remain throughout the year. The main flowering occurs in spring. But in order to make your tangerine feel comfortable, cut off most of the flowers and ovaries. The older the tree, the more fruits it can bear, without being particularly depleted. Count the leaves of your pet, there should be at least 15 leaves for 1 fruit.
Reproduction. Mandarins are propagated by seeds, cuttings and grafting. Cuttings do not take root very well, and the fruits of plants grown from seeds will have to wait a long time.
Diseases and pests. Plants are affected by scale insects, thrips, spider mites.
Plants in winter. In winter, it is better to give tangerine a rest. Place the tree in a cool (10-14 ° C) room and reduce watering.
Useful properties of mandarin: Mandarin pulp contains vitamins C, P and B1, potassium, carotene, organic acids. Decoctions from mandarin peel are used for coughing, as well as to improve digestion. Mandarin juice has antimicrobial effect.
And the tangerine tree itself looks very beautiful and improves mood by 100%.
PHOTO OF MANDARINE TREE